Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks catches the puck in his glove for a save against the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center on December 15 2010 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Corey Crawford Back In Goal, But Blackhawks Lose Again To Avalanche

For more on the Blackhawks, please visit Second City Hockey.

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BLACKHAWKS UPDATE: Viktor Stalberg, Patrick Kane Out For Friday Game

The Blackhawks didn’t really expect the injured Patrick Kane to be available for Friday’s game; his bad ankle acted up again during the morning skate. He came off the ice and was seen talking to the Blackhawks training staff.

The staff also announced that Fernando Pisani will be available for Friday’s game. At least one of the injured players is back — the Blackhawks don’t like to make excuses, and reports say that some team leaders including Jonathan Toews have called out teammates in private for not playing hard, but clearly, injuries to significant players is one of the primary reasons the Blackhawks now rank 10th in the Western Conference.

As has been the case in the salary cap era, many teams seem about equal — there are 13 teams in the conference who are almost indistinguishable from each other, and it is up to the Hawks to find the winning mojo they had last year to break away from the pack. It wouldn’t hurt to get some consistent goaltending, either.

The Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.

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Blackhawks Lose Second Straight To Avalanche, 4-3

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Tomas Fleischmann’s first career hat trick helped Colorado down Chicago, 4-3, at United Center.

Greg Mauldin also scored and Matt Duchene added two assists for the Avalanche, who swept the home-and-home set after winning 7-5 in Denver on Monday. Paul Stastny left the contest late in the third period with an upper-body injury.

Craig Anderson won his fourth straight start with 35 saves.

Bryan Bickell, Jonathan Toews and Troy Brouwer tallied for the Blackhawks, who have lost three in a row.

Corey Crawford surrendered four goals on just 23 shots to suffer his third straight loss.

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Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Colorado Avalanche: Corey Crawford In Goal Tonight, Patrick Kane Back Friday?

The Blackhawks' revolving door in goal may stop, at last, with the announcement that Corey Crawford will face the Avalanche in tonight's United Center rematch of Monday's game in Denver. Marty Turco was pulled in the first period Monday after allowing four goals on ten shots. Even though he's the putative No. 1 goalie, Crawford has played better. It may be that coach Joel Quenneville just has to let Crawford play; if he has the occasional bad game, perhaps the offense can pick him up.

That offense got some good news today when Patrick Kane skated during the morning skate, declared that he felt pretty good and may wind up being able to play on Friday when the Hawks face the Red Wings. Kane was supposed to be out three weeks; if he can play Friday, that would mean only four games missed. Dave Bolland, who missed Monday's game, will play tonight; Fernando Pisani and Marian Hossa, both of whom have been out for a while, will remain out. Once the Hawks get back to full strength, maybe it won't matter so much who's in goal.

Tonight's game begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on CSN Chicago Plus -- check your cable listings for the channel on your system.

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